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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Who shut down the government?

Posted by on Oct. 6, 2013 at 10:47 AM
  • 46 Replies
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Even when it comes to something as basic, and apparently as simple and straightforward, as the question of who shut down the federal government, there are diametrically opposite answers, depending on whether you talk to Democrats or to Republicans.

There is really nothing complicated about the facts. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted all the money required to keep all government activities going -- except for ObamaCare.

This is not a matter of opinion. You can check the Congressional Record.

As for the House of Representatives' right to grant or withhold money, that is not a matter of opinion either. You can check the Constitution of the United States. All spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives, which means that Congressmen there have a right to decide whether or not they want to spend money on a particular government activity.

Whether ObamaCare is good, bad or indifferent is a matter of opinion. But it is a matter of fact that members of the House of Representatives have a right to make spending decisions based on their opinion.

ObamaCare is indeed "the law of the land," as its supporters keep saying, and the Supreme Court has upheld its Constitutionality.

But the whole point of having a division of powers within the federal government is that each branch can decide independently what it wants to do or not do, regardless of what the other branches do, when exercising the powers specifically granted to that branch by the Constitution.

The hundreds of thousands of government workers who have been laid off are not idle because the House of Representatives did not vote enough money to pay their salaries or the other expenses of their agencies -- unless they are in an agency that would administer ObamaCare.

Since we cannot read minds, we cannot say who -- if anybody -- "wants to shut down the government." But we do know who had the option to keep the government running and chose not to. The money voted by the House of Representatives covered everything that the government does, except for ObamaCare.

The Senate chose not to vote to authorize that money to be spent, because it did not include money for ObamaCare. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says that he wants a "clean" bill from the House of Representatives, and some in the media keep repeating the word "clean" like a mantra. But what is unclean about not giving Harry Reid everything he wants?

If Senator Reid and President Obama refuse to accept the money required to run the government, because it leaves out the money they want to run ObamaCare, that is their right. But that is also their responsibility.

You cannot blame other people for not giving you everything you want. And it is a fraud to blame them when you refuse to use the money they did vote, even when it is ample to pay for everything else in the government.

When Barack Obama keeps claiming that it is some new outrage for those who control the money to try to change government policy by granting or withholding money, that is simply a bald-faced lie. You can check the history of other examples of "legislation by appropriation" as it used to be called.

Whether legislation by appropriation is a good idea or a bad idea is a matter of opinion. But whether it is both legal and not unprecedented is a matter of fact.

Perhaps the biggest of the big lies is that the government will not be able to pay what it owes on the national debt, creating a danger of default. Tax money keeps coming into the Treasury during the shutdown, and it vastly exceeds the interest that has to be paid on the national debt.

Even if the debt ceiling is not lifted, that only means that government is not allowed to run up new debt. But that does not mean that it is unable to pay the interest on existing debt.

None of this is rocket science. But unless the Republicans get their side of the story out -- and articulation has never been their strong suit -- the lies will win. More important, the whole country will lose.


http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2013/10/04/who-shut-down-the-government-n1716292/page/full


by on Oct. 6, 2013 at 10:47 AM
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rfurlongg
by on Oct. 6, 2013 at 10:56 AM
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So basically it is the dems according to this guy. I guess I know how he votes. There are just many saying it is all the repubs fault. The finger pointing isn't really helping anything. It is just digging the hole deeper and deeper. Those digging the hole are not the ones suffering.

Both parties are equally responsible imo. Neither is blameless and I do not see either one making genuine efforts towards comprise. While I have never fully supported either side, I am beyond disgusted with both parties and with the people that blindly stand behind them.
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tanyainmizzou
by on Oct. 6, 2013 at 11:22 AM

I think he is saying there is the money to fund the government in a bill that has been sent, with the exception of ACA.

Something that the House has the right to do and has done before.

The question is whether or not it is a good thing they are doing it.

But if the money for everything but ACA is on the table and all the Senate has to do is pass it, there is no way that the Republicans are solely at fault.   The Senate Democrat leadership is playing the game as well.

Quoting rfurlongg:

So basically it is the dems according to this guy. I guess I know how he votes. There are just many saying it is all the repubs fault. The finger pointing isn't really helping anything. It is just digging the hole deeper and deeper. Those digging the hole are not the ones suffering.

Both parties are equally responsible imo. Neither is blameless and I do not see either one making genuine efforts towards comprise. While I have never fully supported either side, I am beyond disgusted with both parties and with the people that blindly stand behind them.


PrimmednPunked
by Bronze Member on Oct. 6, 2013 at 11:31 AM
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And what about all of the somewhat legitimate arguements saying it is the Republicans?  

You would think by now people would realize that it is both sides fault and they are keeping us busy arguing while they go on their merry way.

sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Oct. 6, 2013 at 11:32 AM
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So they funded all the bills passed except the one they didnt like

Even though it was legally passed and constitutionally upheld and survived 44 repeal attempts...

Sounds like they would like a fascist government

The people have spoken through their representatives - the Affordable Care Act is law of the land (as Boehner said)

It's up and running

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sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Oct. 6, 2013 at 11:33 AM
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Both sides are not to blame, one side already compromised the other are republican terrorists

Quoting PrimmednPunked:

And what about all of the somewhat legitimate arguements saying it is the Republicans?  

You would think by now people would realize that it is both sides fault and they are keeping us busy arguing while they go on their merry way.

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Della529
by Matlock on Oct. 6, 2013 at 11:35 AM

 Who in the hell interpreted Art. 1, Sec. 7 as the right of the House to make "spending decisions"?

MomTiara19
by Bronze Member on Oct. 6, 2013 at 11:35 AM
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The reasons I feel it is the republicans

1)Why not pass a clean clean funding bill?

2)Obamacare is already a law.How can president Obama just defund or delay a healthcare law and kick millions of people off healthcare because republicans are sour grapes over losing the past two elections?

3)If Americans dont like ObamaCare.Why are millions signing up?The American people have spoken and voted for president Obama.Get over it.


sweet-a-kins
by Emerald Member on Oct. 6, 2013 at 11:36 AM
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WASHINGTON -- It’s become a common House Republican talking point that Senate Democrats and President Barack Obama could end the shutdown of the government if they simply chose to negotiate.

“What we are looking at here again is an administration and president that seems to be unwilling to sit down and talk to us,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) bemoaned at a press conference on Saturday morning.

While Cantor is right that Democrats aren't exactly in the talking mood, the suggestion that they aren’t willing to negotiate ignores that they’ve already given Republicans a major win. The continuing resolution that the White House and congressional Democrats have agreed to funds the government at sequestration levels. And even some members of Cantor's own caucus admit that they got the good end of that deal.

“It is a concession, I acknowledge that,” Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.) told The Huffington Post on Saturday. “I was glad to see that lower number. It didn’t take defense spending into account. We still have a big discrepancy between the House and Senate version. But there has been some compromise and I acknowledge that.”

(Lamborn, for what it's worth, is no centrist. He signed on to a letter saying a government shutdown was preferable to the implementation of Obamacare.)

So what have Democrats received in return for that compromise? If you ask many of them, they’d say "not a whole lot." Progressives complained bitterly that funding the government at $988 billion would set a bad precedent for future negotiations. Administration officials acknowledge that it would hurt the president’s priorities. But they and the party's congressional leadership made the case that a continuing resolution at that level would be tolerable provided it lasted for a short period of time and allowed for more substantial budget negotiations.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has insisted that House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) agreed with this basic deal, to which Boehner’s top spokesman, Michael Steel, replied: “We don’t discuss private conversations between the Speaker and the Senate Majority Leader.”

Clearly, a good number of House Republicans don’t believe that sequestration-level funding is sufficient. They want more concessions in exchange for opening the government. But to make that push while simultaneously arguing that Democrats are the ones not willing to negotiate is an act of political jiujitsu.

On Saturday morning, The Huffington Post pushed Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) to explain the party's top talking point. A transcript of the exchange is below:

HuffPost: Democrats would argue that they have given you something. They’ve agreed to sequester-level funding. What do you say to that?
Farenthold: The sequester was agreed to in the last Congress. We got to keep moving the ball forward and don’t stop.

HuffPost: They would like it to be higher though and they are willing to keep it at this level, is that a concession?

HuffPost: I don’t see it as a concession. Just like Obamacare is the current law of the land, the Budget Control Act is the current law of the land.

Other Reporter: But you are asking for changes to Obamacare.

Farenthold: All right, so they can ask for changes to sequester and maybe that is where we come together. But they won’t sit down and talk to us.

HuffPost: But they are asking for changes to sequester. They would like a higher funding level.

Farenthold: All right, so where are the conferees from the Senate to talk about that?

HuffPost: To talk about what?

Farenthold: So, all right. We up some of the numbers there; they give on Obamacare. I don’t know if that would fly, but nobody is talking about it.

HuffPost: Would that be okay for you if you upped some spending in exchange for a delay or a change in Obamacare?

Farenthold: I would have to see what the offer is. Generally, no. I think that part of our problem is that we are spending so much more than we are taking in.
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Della529
by Matlock on Oct. 6, 2013 at 11:36 AM
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 Oh, and for what my opinion is worth, both sides are acting like pitiful children, bless their hearts.

PrimmednPunked
by Bronze Member on Oct. 6, 2013 at 11:39 AM

And people like you are the problem.

Reid has said before that he wouldn't consider a vote on a House bill unless it is a clean bill.  His way or the highway.  He is no better than Boehner.

Quoting sweet-a-kins:

Both sides are not to blame, one side already compromised the other are republican terrorists

Quoting PrimmednPunked:

And what about all of the somewhat legitimate arguements saying it is the Republicans?  

You would think by now people would realize that it is both sides fault and they are keeping us busy arguing while they go on their merry way.


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